Students learn science at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN — Students and event coordinators who were part of the 17th annual Penguin Bowl recently at Youngstown State University took note to remember Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, who organized the local competition for many years.

“This year’s event was dedicated in memory of Dr. Ray, who died last October and coordinated and ran the bowl for 16 years,” Howland resident Colleen McLean, associate professor of geological and environmental sciences at the university, said. She said she and other YSU staff were able to use his notes to coordinated the 2019 event.

The National Ocean Science Bowl at YSU is one of 25 regional bowls nationwide.

Area high school students compete on teams similar to academic challenge competitions, answering questions about the ocean and its life related to chemistry, biology and geography. The all-day event had teams competing in different elimination rounds going from 16 teams to two.

McLean said the Penguin Bowl was one of the many contributions Beiersdorfer made to the university while he served there since 1993.

“We are grateful he left some really good records for us to use to hold this event. The continuing of this event is a tribute to him,” she said.

Maggie Gill, one of the coordinators, said, “It is very uplifting to see the students here on a weekend studying and working hard and investing their time in this. It is wonderful that we are able to see this held every years.”

She said the regional event has winning teams advancing to eventually compete at the national finals competition April 11 to 14 in Washington, D.C.

RaShawn Douglas-Watson, a sophomore at Rayen Early College, said this was her first year competing. “It’s exciting but at times intense,” she said.

She said she uses study cards to prepare for competition.

Aija Claret, a sophomore from Rayen Early College, said the competition was challenging at times, with the team not always able to answer questions.

“We practiced at school but did not always know the answers today.” she said.